157R. Harrod to J. D. Woodruff, 30 December 1928 [a]

"The idea of the bar has rather faded from my mind, tho' I suppose that I shall continue with my dinners." [1]

  1. 1. Due to Frances Harrod's melancholy and the difficult situation it generated, Harrod was rather worried about his future:
    • while my mother lives I shall never do any good work on economics; I cant save money; I shant marry. I have found myself getting on better with my mother in some ways. We have literary tastes in common etc. She gets frantically on my nerves in certain petty ways and I am terrified of her in certain moods. But I find her more and more difficult [b] with third parties. I feel that for this reason I couldnt marry without deserting her completely and that I would never do. So I began to think of my future by counting the years to her probable death and then counting the years from that date onwards to the time when I could get into obscure retirement as soon as my pension had accumulated to the minimum amount which I would live on. I felt that I could keep up my job of teaching but never do any serious work at economics.

    After his nervous breakdown (see note 1 to letter 156 ), Harrod resumed his old idea to go to the bar, possibly on the perspective of beginning a political career (see letter 25 ):

    • After seeing you [Harrod's therapist] a second time I joined the Inner Temple. I argued like this: I became a don from necessity not choice. I shant do any good on present regime. I shall find myself stranded in the middle forties in profession in which I am a failure, un-married and with no money saved. I took the advice of experts who said that even after 3 years of dinner-eating it would not be too late to go to the bar. [Harrod, autobiographical statement to his therapist, end of summer 1928, seven pages, in pencil, HPBL Add. 72775/11-17].

    An earlier letter to Woodruff is extant regarding Harrod's nervous breakdown, explaining that "The specialist said that the symptoms were out of all proportion to the malady, itself negligible. And that I might work at half pressure" (Harrod to Woodruff, 12 September 1928, in DWP Box 3 Folder 23).

    1. a. From Hotel Bristol, Beaulieu-sur-Mer # , two pages ALS, in DWP Box 3 Folder 23.

      b. Ms: «difficile».


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